The Impermanence of Life

Sh*t happens! Good stuff, negative stuff and plain old mundane stuff. It’s the very fabric of life – that impermanence! Yet, we often struggle to be aware, and to accept life – and it’s constant state of flux.

Then I am a victim!

Why does this sh*t keep happening to me?

Do you think life is unfair?

It may appear to be this way. But, it’s our reactions and subsequent behaviours to THE event that makes the difference?


It’s not the event, it’s what we make of that event.


How often do we bemoan our lot in life, only to find if we make time to reflect, that we are co-creators in outcomes? We put in place, often unwittingly, a platform for things to happen, be they positive or less so. If I choose to leave very little time to get to where I need to be, then I will likely get annoyed with the person in front of my car observing the speed limit! Before that, I will probably have communicated to my loved ones with an occasional ‘grunt’!

Hardly present and loving, is it? If I am looking for a partner, I have to let that be known and take action. That action may well not result each time in the desired outcome, but there will be a much greater chance of an outcome than if I had done nothing at all. So, the examples above have nothing to do with being a victim, or even the impermanence  of life.

What is this impermanence?

  • Getting news your position at work is to be made redundant.
  • Learning your loved one is facing a challenge with a serious illness – or worse!
  • Being told you have a life limiting condition.
  • Or, the daily events that happen! 
  • Someone clattering into your car.
  • A disagreement.
  • Waking ‘unhappy’.
  • Waking very happy!

Expectations not being met, because we fail to appreciate life and it’s constituent parts are all in a state of impermanence and flux, shifting in every moment.

Who put you in charge?

We have become so very cosy and, at times, self-righteous around what is reasonable – and what we think is not.


The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.


If I choose to believe I am entitled to a good life, then I will face numerous disappointments. If I can only be happy when the sun shines and I live in a rainy climate, I’m going to be very grumpy! We cannot hold on to happiness as if it’s a possession to be owned, but we can enjoy and appreciate what feels good at that moment.

Open the Door

We can choose to be open and more accepting to the less cheerful days or moments. They need not define our lives.

Both happiness and sadness will pass, just as the very events that gave rise to positive or negative emotions. Yet, they are both equally important for us to accept if we to embrace balance and some harmony into our existence and short time on this world. When feeling sad or joyful, try to appreciate that for what it is. A temporary state that, just like the event, will pass.

If you’re struggling with life and it’s impermanence, do let me know.

About the author
Managing Director / Counsellor at Anglia Counselling Ltd | 07747042899 | [email protected] | Business Website

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).